Poul Reichhardt

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Poul Reichhardt
Born (1913-02-02)2 February 1913
Ganløse. Egedal Municipality, Denmark
Died 31 October 1985(1985-10-31) (aged 72)
Years active 1932-1981

Poul David Reichhardt (2 February 1913 – 31 October 1985) was a Danish actor, well known for his roles in Danish 1940s/50s comedies. Later on, he also played more serious and varied roles; he has also starred in Huset på Christianshavn, Matador and as various minor characters in the Olsen Gang films.

For almost thirty years Reichhardt was a leading Danish heroic charmer in movies and partly also on stage. His acting debut was in 1931 as an extra in the play Styrmand Karlsens flammer in Nørrebros Theater. Already during the 1930s he won himself a name, this was cemented during World War II and from 1945 he stood as the movie hero par excellence: the plain, regular, quick-witted, sometimes hot-tempered, but often humorous man playing in melodramas and comedies. His versatile talent of acting and singing created him a widespread area as an artist.

Poul Reichhardt got a special popularity during his performing in the so-called Morten Korch movies in the 1950s based upon novels written by a just as popular Danish regionalist light literate – here he normally played the honest young farmer fighting for his happiness and for his love. Often criticised for playing in low quality products he always did his best even in poor roles and his temporary overplay and loudness was compensated by his engagement and self-irony. Perhaps his best movie roles were as a resistance man (De røde Enge - "The Red Meadows", 1945), and as the soldier in Soldaten og Jenny, ("The Soldier and Jenny", 1947. His ability as a singer even made him opera roles (Papageno in The Magic Flute) and though normally considered a typical "man of the people" he also mastered the role as a man of the world.

Besides his many popular roles Reichhardt also, mostly on stage, emerged into a respected character actor (Biff and later Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Archie in Osborne's The Entertainer, several Shakespeare roles). Not leaving the heroic line until relatively late he won a new popularity in elder roles also on TV. Perhaps his most popular one was as the blustering and intolerant but yet sympathetic furniture remover Olsen in the series Huset på Christianshavn ("The House on Christianshavn"). A heart-stroke in 1985 ended one of the most successful Danish post war movie careers with the death of Poul Reichhardt

Reichhardt is the father of actor Peter Reichhardt.


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